Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I really needed this today.

I have just experienced three days of some of the toughest parenting challenges of my life. And I haven't even talked to my kid yet because he's with his dad for the holidays. But this is the break-your-heart-if-you-let-it kind of hard. Since I'm not going to broadcast his business all over the blogosphere, you'll have to take my word for it. But this post from Stephanie over at Everyone's Excited and Confused really caught my attention today. I badly needed a reminder of not being alone in this crazy undertaking of being a parent, and a reminder of the huge and amazing rewards.

I love this. It is the first and possibly only meme that I will ever do, but it's so worth it.

99 Cool Mom Things

1. Felt the world shift and change when you held your newborn baby.
2. Thought, "Hey, they didn't tell me about this when I got pregnant."
3. Given away perfectly good pants because they just don't seem to zip up anymore
4. Walked around with snot on your shoulder and pretended it's normal
5. Wrestled with a car seat and won
6. Cursed the makers of really loud annoying toys
7. Rocked your baby until she fell asleep, and then kept rocking anyway.
8. Gained superhero kissing powers-- you kiss it, it's okay.
9. Learned the art of counting to three, in a loud, patient voice
10. Avoided swearing like a pirate when a small child stepped on your bare feet with heavy-heeled princess shoes
11. Dressed up as a butterfly and floated magically around the room with blanket wings
12. Made a tent out of blankets and chairs and crammed your really large body into it.
13. Learned you really aren't a patient person, but tried to work on it.
14. Listened to really bad, heartfelt, vibrato out-of-control, children's music that for some reason your children love.
15. Succeeded in doing an awesome hairstyle on a squirming, uncooperative child.
16. Decided that bribery really does do the trick.
17. Read a Parenting book and thought, "Do they even have children?"
18. Gotten nothing but lessons in patience and enduring to the end from the past 3 years of church
19. Allowed others to think you're crazy as you drive down the road doing the actions to "5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."
20. Smiled and managed not to punch the people without children who give you advice on how to discipline them.
21. Pitied the pioneers, who didn't have movies/television.
22. Thought sadly about landfills, but put it out of your head by remembering what dunking poopy cloth diapers in the toilet is like.
23. Managed to get the grocery shopping done with one or more children in tow.
24. Put yourself in time out.
25. Given up career opportunities, wistfully, but gladly.
26. Thought, "This is so worth it. I have the best job ever."
27. Thought, "This is so not worth it. I quit." But woken up and fixed breakfast and taken care of the kids anyway.
28. Heard your child say, "I love you so much!"
29. Watched with delight as your child lurches around the room with their first dinosaur-like steps.
30. Ignored your dirty house to play ponies.
31. Taught a child to use the potty. (And wanted to start an ad campaign with signs posted above every public toilet that read, "If you can use this, thank your mother.")
32. Tried a home business to make just a little extra money
33. Actually sewn something, that turned out pretty good if no one looked too closely
34. Played the choo-choo or airplane game to try and convince your child that food is not evil.
35. Slipped, tripped or twisted on a left out toy
36. Fished pennies/small toys/anything small out of your child's mouth, while keeping the panic at bay.
37. Lost brain cells while watching a Baby Einstien movie
38. Wondered where the instruction manual is.
39. Thought that you could improve upon the baby design model by adding three lights on the side of each baby-- one for hungry, one for tired, and one for poopy.
40. Listened with chagrin as your child repeats your favorite adjectives.
41. Crept into their room at night, just to make sure the covers are on and that they're still breathing.
42. Thought while breastfeeding, "No wonder people get breast implants. My shirts actually fit."
43. Laughed out loud at the optimistic "6 weeks after birth prognosis" by your male doctor.
44. Learned that you really aren't a pleasant person with only 2 hours of sleep.
45. Tried to explain why clothing is mandatory.
46. Had to eat your words because, "I would never do it that way," but then you do.
47. Called Poison Control.
48. Left the store without buying anything because your child is screaming.
49. Had to apologize to a stranger.
50. Wanted to petition that handicap stalls also be available to mothers with 2 or more children under the age of 6.
51. Said, "That's not funny," when really, if you weren't the parent, it was funny.
52. Felt extreme anger at another child when they hurt your child.
53. Cleaned up throw up more times than you wish to count.
54. Eaten a soggy cracker.
55. Thought sadly of hungry people as you scrapped your child's uneaten food into the garbage.
56. Threatened to do something awful (and untrue) like leave your child at WalMart, or cut off their toe if they didn't stop misbehaving.
57. Even though you vowed never to say it, yelled, "Because I said so."
58. Not left the house for three or more days.
59. Discussed buying stock in paper towels, wipes and diaper companies.
60. Conversed with other adults about poop, drool, and snot.
61. Thought, "My gosh. My children are the most adorable things in the entire world."
62. Smiled when your kids hugged each other.
63. Thrown away Halloween candy (after fishing out all the chocolate bars).
64. Realized the true use of a timer is not for baking.
65. Thought, "Isn't there at least some period of their lives where they adore me and listen to what I say?"
66. Cried and cried, because you feel like you're just not cut out for this sort of thing.
67. Felt triumphant when your child spelled their name without prompting to your now impressed neighbor/relative/friend.
68. Put on boots, coats, hats, gloves and snow pants and just as you're walking out the door hear a rumbling from your child that indicates severe diaper problems, or having your older child say, "I have to go to the bathroom."
69. Realized that children's books are sometimes written for adults.
70. Had to remind yourself not to talk in a sing-songy, supercalm happy voice when speaking to other adults.
71. Sometimes the only constant in your day is that it will eventually end.
72. Discovered that a really childproof room is empty and padded and only exists in insane asylums.
73. Had to backpeddle quickly when you told your child not to do something and they said, "But Mommy, you do it."
74. Dug out a sliver
75. Been ignored. Over and over.
76. Felt that if you get touched one more time you might have to become a hermit.
77. Laughed (with just a bit of hysteria) at the magazine picture of well-behaved children that put together beautiful crafts.
78. Gotten an unexpected kiss and a hug.
79. Had your heart melt when you hear, "Hold me, hold me."
80. Cleaned up a blow out diaper, and managed to salvage the onesie.
81. Thought, "Oh, my parents were right."
82. Prayed really hard that you're raising them to be good, thoughtful, happy people.
83. Hoped they won't remember the time you accidentally dropped/forgot about them.
84. Hoped they will remember the times you read stories/sang/played with them.
85. Felt like the Wicked Witch of the West.
86. Given an Eskimo kiss.
87. Felt your heart strings tug when they first let go of your hand to venture off on their own.
88. Pretended you liked something just to get your kid to eat/do it.
89. Wore matching outfits with your kids and thought it was awesome.
90. Tried to keep the car nice by not allowing food, then gave up and tossed food randomly at your children in an effort to quiet them.
91. Heard your child yell excitedly, "Mommy!" when you walk into the room.
92. Caused extreme giggling (on purpose).
93. Vanquished a monster with a spray bottle.
94. Answered "Why?" questions with preposterous and crazy answers but still not managed to stop the "Why?"s from coming.
95. Bought a really padded bra for protection from elbows and other stray limbs
96. Played the, "I'm going to hide in the _____" version of Hide and Seek
97. Learned to traverse the kitchen with a small child clinging to your legs and the phone on your shoulder.
98. Told yourself, "This is for her good."
99. Known this is the best and hardest job in the world. (But wished for paid time off)


LisAway said...

This is great. I'm glad you found comfort in it. When you read down the list it's amazing how similar so many of our experiences are, even though we are all so different. Motherhood is much like sisterhood, as it binds us all together somehow.

I really hope you get through these hard times and don't "let" your heart break! I'll be thinking of you.

Alison Wonderland said...

Aw sweetie, we've all been there, you're doing a great job and they're going to turn out just fine. And good for you for not airing his business all over. Now go out and party, it's a holiday afterall.

Annette Lyon said...

That is a great list.

Hang in there. We're all pulling for you.

Becky said...

It's rough sometimes, isn't it? Hang in there, lady!

Shellie said...

Great list Melanie! I teared up over a lot of them. I'd have to add poison control to my list.

The Crash Test Dummy said...


Anonymous said...

Are the ones that aren't in bold the ones that didn't apply to you? Or is it just random?

And yes, I related to most of these.

Bon courage with your current challenges.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Good stuff, Melanie. And if it makes you feel any better, you DID win a giveaway on my blog a while back, and I just need your address to send you that tag blanket. :)

Annie Valentine said...

You are a good mom. I just know it.

Stephanie and Co. said...

Oh! It makes my heart glad that my list helped you feel better. I wrote the list when I was having a particularly hard time too, and trying to remember why I got into this whole parenting thing.
Hope things are working out better. I enjoy reading your blog.

Josi said...

Great list--and good luck with this newest challenge. I faced one of those this year too--the cry-for-two-days and feel-like-a-complete-failure moment.Hugs and prayers coming your way--I'm glad you found a way to see all those great things motherhood can give you. They are hard to remember when the black goo starts wrapping around your ankles.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

This is an AMAZING list. It is incredible how many experiences, thoughts, loves, and hates Mom's everywhere really share.

There are too many items on the list that made me think, "that's me!", but if I had to choose just a few, I would go with numbers 4, 45, 60, and 97. All things that I have experienced more times than I can remember.


Christen said...

This was AWESOME!

Sometimes it's just nice to know how many other people are out there that feel the same way I do about things. I like what LisAway said about motherhood being binding.